Re-opening Our School
I hope you and your families are keeping well and staying safe in these extraordinary times.
As you are aware, our school has now been closed since 12th March due to the COVID-19 situation. We are now hoping to re-open our school safely, in line with current guidance and recommendations.
Re-opening the school safely will require the co-operation of all members of our School Community – BoM, Staff, Parents and Pupils. We will all be called on to play our part in ensuring that re-opening of the school is done in a safe manner which prevents the spread of the virus and allows the vital work of Teaching and Learning to proceed with as little disruption as possible.
We have been working on our plan for the safe reopening of the school for some weeks now and have published the DES COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe and sustainable reopening of Primary and Special Schools on our school website.
The Response Plan gives details of
• Physical preparation, signage, hand sanitiser stations,
• Advice, procedures and training for the safe return to working in the school for all school staff and pupils
• General and specific advice on how all pupils, staff, parents and visitors will prevent the spread of the virus
We are really looking forward to welcoming our children back to school and will be doing all that we can to ensure that the return to school is a safe and enjoyable experience for the children.
Change of Location for Boher NS for 2 months
As you are all aware we have been trying to get the work done at the front of the school for a long time now. Unfortunately, our building work was another casualty to Covid-19 so it will now take place in September and October. We were also fortunate to get an extra grant from the Department of Education and Skills to help us to get the underground pipes at the front of the school done also.
As a result the committee of Boher Hall have agreed to let us use the Hall as our school base for this time. We are so very grateful to them for this.
Our plan is to create a temporary divide in the hall to create the 2 classrooms. We will have an area for Ms Heavey, Ms Bradley and Theresa. As per the Department guidelines, we will also have a dedicated isolation area for any child who is not feeling well during the day. All areas will be cleaned daily as per departmental guidelines.
We are also hoping to be able to move our internet and some of our interactive devices on a temporary basis.
We are meeting up to finalise the layout of the Hall going forward over the next 2 days and will be in contact with you all once this has been completed.
Physical Distancing and Safe School Attendance
We are currently working on upgrading our procedures and routines within the school/hall to ensure that there is as much Physical Distancing as is possible in our building. We will apply physical distancing in a practical and sensible way, recognising that the learning environment cannot be dominated by a potentially counterproductive focus on this issue.
Physical Distancing will be achieved in two ways: –
Increasing Separation. This will be achieved by re-configuring the classrooms to maximise physical distancing. As our school is small in number we intend to work as one bubble. Within this bubble, the children will be organised into pods. A pod is a group of children (normally 4-8) who will sit together and who will stay in their pod while in the bubble, or classroom. As Ms Coyne’s room has Junior Infants-2nd class, this room will be considered one pod but will be adopting physical distancing as much as is possible.
Decreasing Interaction. There will be marked routes for various pods to enter and exit the school/hall and to access their classrooms. As we are working as a single bubble the children will be allowed outside together for breaks but we will always encourage physical distancing where possible.
As per the guidelines from the Department of Education and Skills we must remind you that:
While all children will be very welcome back to school, we would remind parents that, where children are displaying colds, coughs or flu like symptoms, they should not be sent to school. Children who display such symptoms in school will be isolated and parents asked to collect them from the school.
Children who have traveled from countriesnot on the Green List should not attend school during the 14-day self-isolation period
Further information on COVID-19 symptoms in children is available here!
All teachers and staff will make children aware of the proper hygiene procedures regarding hand washing and etiquette related to sneezing, coughing or spitting. We would be grateful if you could also emphasise safe behavior in this regard to your children at home as part of the preparation for returning to school.
Our aim remains to re-open the school in an orderly safe manner, while reassuring the children and making them feel comfortable, safe and relaxed with their friends in the new school environment. This will be achieved by all of us working towards this common goal.
Drop-off and Collection Routines
All of us in Boher NS have been working to ensure a safe return to school for all pupils and staff in two weeks’ time.
Boher NS appreciates your support as we try to safely reopen the school. If at all possible we request you not to come into the school/hall building unless it is essential. Working together we hope to be able to progress the reopening in as safe a manner as possible for all. We would ask all parents to familiarise themselves with the following drop-off and collection routines for the safe delivery and collection of pupils from school. Please be patient as we endeavor to embed these necessary precautionary and protective practices at the beginning of the school year.
It is imperative that
• adults do not come within 2m of each other
• parents do not try to have meetings with members of staff in the playground at drop-off and collection times – meetings between parents and teachers can only take place by prior arrangement.
• all parents adhere to the drop-off and collection plans as outlined below
We would ask that all parents drive into the carpark at the side of the hall to drop their children.
The children from Ms Coyne’s room will enter through the double doors beside the main entrance to the Hall. This will be opened from 9.10am every morning.
The children from the pods in Ms White’s classroom will enter through the double doors up along the crossroads side of the Hall. These doors will also be open from 9.10am.
2pm- Ms Coyne will bring out the Junior and Senior Infants as normal through their double doors.
2.55pm- Ms White will let out her pods individually.
3pm- Ms Coyne will let out her 1st and 2nd class.
As many parents will want to change their children’s uniforms every day, we will not be specific about uniform days/tracksuit days. If you want your child to wear the navy tracksuit bottoms each day, that is no problem. We want to create as little obstacles for you as possible. We would suggest that you have 1 uniform ready in case we need them to wear it for a specific purpose but apart from that we will leave it up to you.
Books and stationery
As last year we will be providing everything for the children to use in school, including books, copies, all stationery and a school pencil case. You only need a school bag and a lunch box for them!!
We hope that this letter may clear up some questions that you may have. Please feel free to pop me a text on the school phone if you have any further questions.
For now, please stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all very soon.
The following websites provide further information on COVID-19 and on government advice and recommendations regarding the re-opening of schools: –
• Link to the Departments Covid Response Plan
• Link to the HSE Website
• Governments Back To School Campaign